OUR PRINCESS DIANA ARTICLE IS FROM 2011 TODAY: 6 MARCH 1986 – THE WYRE FOREST GLADES LEISURE CENTRE WAS FIRST OF ITS KIND

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Princess Diana and district council chairman John Wardle at the opening of the Glades Leisure Centre.

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Visit to Kidderminster

IMAGINATIVE CENTRE WAS FIRST OF ITS KIND It is incredible to think it is 25 years since Wyre Forest Glades Leisure Centre first opened. Princess Diana officiated, and it was one of the first such leisure pools anywhere in the UK.
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It was an ambitious, and at times controversial, project. I did not come onto the scene until a couple of years later, when we added the second, sports arena, phase of the scheme. A quarter of a century on can I congratulate all those involved in taking this imaginative step back in the Eighties. By now the centre will have brought pleasure to more than two million local users. I would make special mention of those councillors actively involved at the time, such as Mike Kelly, Bronwyn Ingham and Councillor MacKenzie. The original leisure pool complex was designed by the then district architect Les Stead and his colleagues – a major development for staff more used to designing family housing. The design has proved to be imaginative and workable – well done Les. Congratulations also to the centre staff who I recall as being consistently helpful and efficient. STAN BALDWIN Former Chief Executive Wyre Forest District Council, Blackthorne Close Solihull

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Diana at the Harry Cheshire Community High School in Kidderminster the same day

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